The future of professional basketball in Halifax remains uncertain with the start of the National Basketball League of Canada’s season just over two months away. According to league commissioner Dave Mangley, next week a group of local businesspeople will announce a new Halifax team set to play this season.
The city’s previous team, the Rainmen, filed for bankruptcy in July, with debts totalling $695,567. This came weeks after the team forfeited game seven of the league championship against the Windsor Express because of safety concerns.
Trade Centre Limited, which operates the municipally owned Scotiabank Centre where the Rainmen played, isn’t on the list of creditors owed money. But documents obtained and published by the Canadian Taxpayer Federation through a Freedom of Information request leave questions unanswered about the financial agreement between TCL and the basketball team.
The fee the Rainmen payed TCL for each game—redacted in the documents—covered the box office, ushers, security, cleaning and other services. The Rainmen also provided TCL with 20 tickets per game, including playoffs, and another 200 complimentary tickets for staff appreciation events last season (half the total of the year before). Also redacted, the percentage of food sale commissions TCL paid to the Rainmen.
Though attendance woes hampered the Atlantic Division’s top team even before the playoff and off-season drama, TCL does not appear to be owed money by the now-defunct Rainmen.
Professional basketball has had a confusing and rough go in the city lately, but it appears the last chapter has yet to be written.